“When you play the game of thrones you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
HBO’s critically acclaimed Game of Thrones® television series has introduced millions to the world of Westeros, where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Based on George R.R. Martin’s beloved fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones chronicles the epic struggles between the Great Houses of Westeros as they vie for control of the Iron Throne.
Now fans of the show can give new life to their favorite characters and schemes. Game of Thrones is a two-player card game of battles, intrigues, and struggles for power.
The Wolf and the Lion
The two Great Houses House Stark and House Lannister share little love for each other, and Game of Thrones finds them at each other’s throats. After Lord Eddard Stark and his wife, Catelyn, come to suspect the Lannisters of attempting to murder their son, Bran, Catelyn’s capture of Tyrion Lannister brings the Houses to the brink of war. Now, through plots, battles, lies, and alliances, their Game of Thrones promises to shake the foundations of the Seven Kingdoms.
As the Starks and Lannisters each plot the other’s downfall, Game of Thrones features a compelling “plot” mechanic. The game’s plot deck offers players the means to generate income, bluff their opponents, and control the tempo of their games…provided they play the right plots at the right time!
Each turn, as both Houses maneuver for power, players select and reveal plot cards. These cards represent a House’s tactics for the turn. While all your tactics may be valuable at the right times, knowing how to identify those times can be the key to victory. Play the right plot, and you take a step toward victory. Play the wrong plot, and you may find yourself scrambling to get back to your feet.
Then, after players reveal their plots and marshal their forces, they initiate and resolve a series of challenges. There are three different types of challenges – ways through which the two Great Houses seek to rise above each other:
- Military challenges represent battles, brawls, duels, and assassinations. Westeros is a deadly place, and anyone caught up in the bitter battles between Stark and Lannister is at risk. The winner of a Military challenge is able to weaken his opponent’s position in the bluntest of all manners, by killing his characters.
- Intrigue challenges represent lies, scheming, blackmail, and betrayal. There are few secrets in Westeros that can’t be discovered, and the winner of an Intrigue challenge is able to discard cards at random from his opponent’s hand.
- Power challenges represent strategic alliances with key players, the assertion of rightful claims to positions of authority, and successful politics. The winner of a Power challenge steals power from his opponent and, in so doing, moves directly toward the game’s victory condition – the acquisition of fifteen total power.
Game of Thrones contains two, pre-constructed decks of fifty cards each, one for House Stark and one for House Lannister. Game of Thrones also provides players thirty-two plot cards, enough to accommodate both the game’s standard plot decks and those decks that players can draft to add greater variety and intrigue to their matches.
One Goal, Multiple Approaches
House Stark and House Lannister are two of the greatest Houses in the Seven Kingdoms, but their methods differ greatly.
- The Starks favor direct military strength, feeling it best suits their Northern sense of honor. Their sigil is the direwolf, and their House words are Winter Is Coming.
- The Lannisters are more adept at the intrigues and schemes that pervade life at court in Kings Landing. Their sigil is the lion, and their House words are Hear Me Roar.
As players participate in the struggles of Game of Thrones, they will be able to appreciate the differences between the Houses’ talents. Adapting to the strengths of the House you control is part of the key to success, and in Game of Thrones victory is the only option. Failure is death.
Relive the drama of the hit HBO series today! Game of Thrones is now available at a retailer near you and online on our webstore.